Forensic evidence is subject to many of the general rules related to the admissibility of evidence in the criminal trial process, but there are also some unique rules governing the admissibility, scope and content of expert forensic evidence in the Canadian adversarial system. This course provides a detailed exploration and analysis of the fundamental legal principles and procedures that govern criminal proceedings in Canada, including identification, integrity and introduction of evidence by both Crown and defence, with a particular emphasis on issues applicable to forensic investigators and scientists as witnesses. In addition to classroom lectures, students are required to work together outside of class time to prepare for a group assignment which involves the presentation and analysis of a forensic court case.
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Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
Assess the fundamental legal principles that govern all criminal proceedings in Canada, including those principles applicable to the adversarial system of justice.
Identify the rights of accused persons in Canadian law, and the obligations of agents of the state, including investigators and Crown Counsel, and to discuss the key underlying principles.
Compare and contrast the respective roles of Crown Counsel, defence counsel and the judge and jury, and explore other perspectives on the Canadian criminal justice system, including those of professional and civilian witnesses in a proceeding.
Differentiate the stages of a Canadian criminal proceeding from investigation to sentencing.
Evaluate the fundamental principles of expert opinion evidence in Canada.
Interpret what constitutes evidence, who can call evidence, who can give evidence, and how evidence is introduced in a criminal trial.
Assess potential evidence in terms of its relevance, materiality, and admissibility, and the application of the criteria to the expert witness’s unique evidentiary role in a criminal proceeding.
Compare and contrast the specific features of real, testimonial and recorded evidence, and the evidentiary rules of exclusion.
Analyze the components and importance of continuity of exhibits and evidence tracking while working in an accredited forensic laboratory.
Discuss and defend trial strategies and tactics used by both Crown and defence counsel and ethical issues in judicial proceedings.
Effective as of Fall 2018
FSCT 9009 is offered as a part of the following programs:
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